ALLIANCE LEGISLATIVE REPORT (100-17): TALKS CONTINUE ON BUDGET, FUNDING FORMULA
Serious discussions on a State budget and school funding formula changes were prevalent this week in the Capitol – some in public and some in private. With the Senate in session, most of the activity was in that chamber. The House of Representatives was not in session this week.
Leadership and budget negotiators were reportedly meeting privately this week to try to find some agreement on a statewide budget. Budget cuts and new revenues must be agreed upon. But these talks were among members of the Senate so, at some point, the Governor and the Speaker of the House will weigh in. The issues of pension reform and property tax freezes are likely to re-emerge before any final agreement is reached.
The Senate Education Committee met Thursday night to discuss possible changes to the school funding formula. No votes were taken, but the panel discussed SB 1 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill), SB 1124 (Barickman, R-Bloomington), and SB 1125 (Barickman). SB 1, originally part of the “grand bargain” budget bill package, contains changes designed to direct more State school funding to those districts in most need and is rooted in the concept of evidence-based funding model (EBM) supported by Vision 20/20. The sponsor has offered an amendment that would decouple the bill from the budget package so it can be approved on its own merits and not be tied to the other bills in the proposed compromise.
Read more about these funding proposals and more bills of note here.
SCHOOL ARREST LEGISLATION
The School Management Alliance has been engaged in discussions since early March on legislation that would prohibit many school-based arrests (SB 704, Lightford). We continue to oppose this legislation and anticipate that it may be called for a committee vote soon. Click here to contact your State Senators to express your concern with this legislation. In particular, if your Senator is a member of the Senate Education Committee, please take time to call.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT